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  • I. The action of supporting.
1. a. The action, or an act, of preventing a person from giving way, backing him up, or taking his part; assistance, countenance, backing.
b. Phr. (SUPPORTATION). Obs.
c. Spiritual help; also subjectively, mental comfort.
d. Corroboration or substantiation (of a statement, principle, etc.); advocacy (of a proposal, motion, etc.): chiefly in phr. in support of.
e. Mil. The action of supporting other troops. in support: acting as a second line. (Cf. 5b.)
f. The provision or availability of services that enable something to fulfill its [[function]] or help to keep it operational.
2. Bearing or defraying of charge or expense.
3. a. The action of keeping from failing, exhaustion, or perishing; esp. the supplying of a living thing with what is necessary for subsistence; the maintenance of life.
b. The action of contributing to the success or maintaining the value of something.
4. a. The action or fact of holding up, keeping from falling, or bearing the weight of something; the condition of being so supported.
b. Sc. Law. The resting of the whole or part of a building or of a beam on the property of the servient tenement.

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  • II. One who or that which supports.
5. a. A person or thing that upholds or sustains (in fig. senses); a supporter, ‘prop’, ‘stay’.
b. Mil. (pl.) A supporting body of troops; the second line in a battle. (Cf. 1e.)
c. Computing. Software or peripherals that are available for use with a particular computer.
6. a. That which supports life; supply of necessaries; means of livelihood or subsistence; formerly sometimes simply = food, provisions.
b. One who or that which furnishes means of livelihood, or maintains a person or community.
7. a. Anything that holds up, or sustains the weight of, a body, or upon which it rests.
b. Metaph. = SUBSTRATUM 1. (Cf. SUPPORT v. 8c.) Obs. rare.
c. Photogr. The substance (as glass, paper, etc.) which supports the sensitive film on which the image is produced.
d. The solid substance or material on which a painting is executed.
8. Math. The smallest closed set of elements outside which a given function or mapping is zero.